Why Choose A Career In Construction?
Why Choose a Career in Construction?
You might never have considered a career in construction but it could be the perfect move for your development.
As the construction industry continues to grow, both the UK and Scottish governments have committed to large scale house building and infrastructure programmes which has resulted in increased demand for skilled and degree qualified specialists across a range of disciplines in the last few years.
There are 3 main reasons why pursuing a career in construction might be the right move for you-
The Scottish construction industry is certainly enjoying a period of significant investment. As part of the Scottish Government's 2015 Infrastructure Investment Plan, it has been reported that projects worth £3 billion have opened to the public or completed construction over the course of 2017 up to March 2018. Developers have also started noticing an upward trend in sales in the Scottish Property market with big Housing projects such as the 3,000 home scheme Countesswells Housing Development in Aberdeen and the Winchburn village Developments in West Lothian in the pipeline.
Results from the latest State of the Trade Survey conducted by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) Scotland highlighted the strong growth of Scottish construction SMEs in the second quarter of 2018. The main indicator for the performance of Scottish construction SMEs (a measure of workloads, enquiries and expected workloads), rose strongly by 17 percentage points in Q2 2018, to 24%, as compared to 7% in the previous quarter.
The commitment from the government and the confidence this breeds seems to have kept the market moving in the right direction.
Despite the investment and increasing confidence, there is a serious skills shortage in the construction industry. With the increase in large value projects, demand is definitely outstripping supply. Many feel there has been a lack of focus from the education sector on construction related courses and trades, which means the skills just aren’t there to replace the current generation. Scottish Funding Council statistics show that there were 20,077 enrolments by further education students in construction related courses in 2005/6, but just 17,356 in 2015/16.
Many professionals with relevant degrees like mechanical or civil engineers have chosen industries such as oil and gas or renewables over construction which has drained the industry of these much needed skills.
The construction sector forms a crucial part of the economy which is why professionals and the upcoming generation of professionals need to realise its importance, scope and the opportunities it offers, to get involved/pursue a career in construction.
Recognising skills shortage as a key issue, one that will certainly hamper efforts to complete these large scale projects on time and on budget, the government in 2017 introduced the apprenticeship levy. It requires all employers to pay 0.5% of any wage bill over £3 million into the government’s new apprenticeship service, to pay for apprenticeship course fees. The purpose of the levy is to encourage employers to invest in apprenticeship programmes and to raise additional funds to improve the quality and quantity of apprenticeships which will enable them to attract new and energised recruits.
A career in construction can be very rewarding. Candidates for specific roles such as Estimators and Quantity Surveyors, ranging from graduate to senior level, are currently in high demand in the Scottish construction market. Consequently, the demand for staff is driving salaries and benefits greatly, with senior commercial staff reaching salaries up to £65k.
The Federation of Master Builders recently reported that construction apprentices earn more per year than many of their university graduate counterparts, demonstrating the positive outcomes this career route offers young people in Scotland.
The industry is taking many initiatives to address the recruitment needs and to make the industry more lucrative to the young workforce. Many contractors in Scotland have started offering their own apprenticeship programs, industrial placements and work experience to young graduates and students in their 3rd or 4th year of university to stoke their interest in the sector.
Getting That Job In Construction
From our experience and in terms of the jobs we are looking to fill, the sector is certainly in a very buoyant position. If you are looking to pursue a career in construction, first, you need to stay up to date with the industry news to find out where the latest projects are starting. There are a number of trade publications who carry the latest news sections including Scottish Construction News, Construction News, Building.co.uk.
Next, signing up with a recruitment expert who has knowledge and experience in the construction sector can make your job search easier. An expert understands the changable needs of the market and will be able to match your skills to the right role in the sector.
Adam Emery, our Senior Consultant has 5 years of experience in the construction sector in North-east Scotland. Over the past 5 years, he has established an extensive candidate network which allows him to provide high quality service to clients and recruit the best people for their business.